Refugees wishing to remain lawfully in the U.S. have filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly failing to tell them when the deadline was for filing asylum applications.
The American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Dobrin & Han PC and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild are representing the four asylum seekers in the lawsuit. The suit also alleges that both the department and the immigration courts failed to adopt procedures to ensure individuals are able to file applications in time.
Under immigration law, asylum seekers have one year to apply but become ineligible if they miss the deadline.
“In many cases, trying to comply with the one-year filing deadline is nothing but a wild-goose chase; timely filing an asylum application in open court is simply impossible when court hearings are routinely scheduled a year or more after the person's arrival,” Trina Realmuto, litigation director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, said in a statement.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.